Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Demographic drivers of Norway rat populations from urban slums in Brazil

Zeppelini, C. G.; Carvalho-Pereira, T.; Alves, R. Sady; Santiago, D. C. C.; Santo, V. F. Espirito; Begon, M.; Costa, F.; Khalil, Hussein

Abstract

The Norway rat is a globally distributed pest, known for its resilience to eradication and control programs. Efficient population control, especially in urban settings, is dependent on knowledge of rat demography and population ecology. We analyzed the relationship between four demographic outcomes, estimated by live-trapping data, and fine-scale environmental features measured at the capture site. Wounds, a proxy for agonistic interactions, were associated with mature individuals. Areas with environmental features favorable to rats, such as open sewers and unpaved earth, were associated with more mature individuals with a better body condition index. The control measures (environmental stressors) are likely to be disrupting the social structure of rat colonies, increasing the frequency and distribution of agonistic interactions, which were common in both sexes and maturity states. The relationship between the favorable environmental conditions and the demographic markers analyzed indicate possible targets for infestation control through environmental manipulation, and could be incorporated into current pest management programs to achieve long-term success. Our study indicate that urban interventions focused on removal of potential resources for rats could be potential long-term solutions by reducing the carrying capacity of the environment.

Keywords

Rattus norvegicus; Urban ecology; Demography; Tropics; Slums; Zoonotic disease; Salvador

Published in

Urban Ecosystems
2021, volume: 24, number: 4, pages: 801-809
Publisher: SPRINGER

Authors' information

Zeppelini, C. G.
Universidade Federal da Paraiba
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies
Santo, V. F. Espirito
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Carvalho-Pereira, T.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Santiago, D. C. C.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Carvalho-Pereira, T.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Costa, F.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Alves, R. Sady
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Santo, V. F. Espirito
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Zeppelini, C. G.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Begon, M.
University of Liverpool
Zeppelini, C. G.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Costa, F.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Santiago, D. C. C.
Universidade Federal da Bahia
Begon, M.
University of Liverpool
Alves, R. Sady
Universidade Federal da Bahia

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities

UKÄ Subject classification

Ecology

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11252-020-01075-2

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/110178